ICJ Begins Hearings on Legal Implications of Israel’s Occupation and Settlements in Palestinian Territories



The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has commenced a series of hearings to examine the legal ramifications of Israel’s occupation, settlement, and annexation of Palestinian territories. This judicial review, requested by the UN General Assembly, aims to provide an advisory opinion on how these actions affect the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. Over 50 countries are expected to present evidence during the hearings, which are being held separately from another genocide case against Israel. The proceedings underscore the international community’s view of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories as illegal, and the outcome, although not legally binding, could influence international and UN actions as well as exert political pressure on Israel.

  • The ICJ’s hearings are focused on examining the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation, settlement, and annexation of Palestinian territories.
  • More than 50 countries are expected to give evidence at the hearings which were requested by the UN General Assembly.
  • There are currently 144 settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, all considered illegal under international law.
  • East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel in 1967 but is considered by the international community as part of the West Bank.
  • Israel maintains full control over two-thirds of the West Bank territory, with the Palestinian Authority controlling the remainder.
  • Palestinian farmers have reported unfair access to resources and attacks on their property by Jewish settlers.
  • The UN General Assembly passed a resolution at the end of 2022 asking the ICJ for an advisory opinion on the situation.
  • The court’s advisory opinion is not legally binding but is expected to influence international actions and exert political pressure on Israel.
  • The advisory opinion aims to assess a broad range of issues, including measures aimed at altering demographics and discriminatory legislation.
  • The outcome of the ICJ’s advisory opinion is expected to be issued relatively quickly, potentially within six months.

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